The End of the Innocence

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So I had to do something last night that was not easy.  I’ll get back to the dance lesson later but I was struggling at the beginning and Kid T again tells me that I seem a bit off.  And she asks how my day went.  I tried to blow it off but she kept pushing so I had to talk about work and the very real fact that I’m likely going to have to let people go.  Presuming that I’m also not being shown to the door.  It shouldn’t be a big thing but I kind of like to keep a line between my personal problems and my dance stuff but things that have a deep impact on me in the work world eventually find their way into the dance world so I guess she needs to know these things.  Well that’s what she told me anyway.

What set me off yesterday?  I can’t get into a lot of detail surrounding work.  I’m probably coming close to violating our social media policy but so be it.  The meetings to discuss the layoffs have been held at levels above me so I’m not a direct participant.  I’ve had to fill my boss in multiple times on people in my group and skills and projects and other things we do.  At the end of the staff meeting, she tells me I need to give her a forced ranking of my people.

Now, despite the title, this is not the first time I’ve had to do this.  While it is never easy disrupting someone’s life and I really don’t like the fact that I have that much power over someone.  But, last time, I had a couple of obvious candidates.  This time, I don’t.  I’ve got people who aren’t flashy and who aren’t looking to move up and don’t do things to promote themselves but they just come to work and do their job and do it well.  In an ideal world, that would be enough.  Clearly, the corporate world is less than ideal at times.  For an idealist, that is the tough part.  It might be easier to take if we were failing but our part of the business delivered on some tough challenges last year.  But the external environment is changing and our leadership has been slow to adapt.  The failure is theirs but we pay the price.  It is hardly fair but, again, fairness doesn’t always exist in the corporate world.

But to be asked to rank people knowing that the people at the bottom of the list are at high risk.  I don’t want to be the executioner.  I know this is the price you sometimes have to pay for going into management.  And I don’t want to make it about my guilt because if I stay and they go, then their lives are impacted.  Mine would be as well but at least I’d still be employed and I’d only have to deal with the aftermath.  I wouldn’t have to deal with questions about how to pay for the house or the kid’s college or what this does to retirement.  It didn’t help that right after I spoke with the boss, the first person I ran into was at the bottom of the list.

Have you ever felt like a balloon with all the air let out?  That’s what hit me this morning.  It didn’t help that I ended up listening to a sad song by someone with a voice that always gets to me.  I’m glad I was there early and nobody was around.  It isn’t good to start your day almost tearing up.  I ended up feeling empty the entire day and that feeling has carried over to now.

I want to scream about how unfair this is.  I want to do more to protect my people.  I don’t want to see anyone lose their jobs.  I know there is probably supposed to be a line between boss and staff but I really do care about these people.  Maybe more than I should.  It would be easier to just talk about business necessities and future plans and all the other buzzwords that others use to avoid the fact that they are tearing people apart.  I’m mad and sad because I’ve got a great team and it is going to be broken up and people are going to be sent packing.  Not because we are losing money but because we simply aren’t making enough.  And, don’t get me wrong, I’m a capitalist.  I know the company owes us nothing.  I know they can’t go out of business just to avoid laying off people.  But what I “know” and what I “feel” are two different things.  Right now, the emotions are ruling and all I can think about is how much this sucks and how powerless I feel to stop it.  Frankly, it really makes me want to run away and hide somewhere.

Sometimes, the corporate world is no place for an INFP.

Well back, briefly, to the lesson.  We did finish the Waltz after our talk and we got through it multiple times.  I even wrote down all the steps so hopefully I can remember.  We then did Rumba and Fox Trot with some pointers on each.  At one point, Kid T was reminding me that this wasn’t a competition and that we were doing it for feedback and that I really should think about having fun.

She’s right but there is a part of me that feels a little guilty about having fun given all that is going on.  That’s probably a little silly but it crosses my mind.  I guess I just need to get some of that out here just to get the thoughts out so I can start dealing with them.  I know it is impacting me.  I kind of lost patience with someone today which is out of character for me and she sort of came in later to talk about it.  I do generally have a positive outlook on things and I’m normally the one trying to tell everyone else to just relax because things will work out.  Guess I kind of hit my limit today.  Maybe a night of dancing is what I need.

I just want to end with a little note.  My post about the elephant was noticed by someone at the blog “Astroligion”.  They do a lot of stuff on personality as well as other things like the zodiac and I’ve found some good stuff there.  Not sure how they noticed my little space over here but I thought it was kind of cool.  Maybe I have a future if I get tossed to the curb next month.

One comment

  1. Wall – So sorry you’re having to go through all this. Life is easier for those deficient in conscience and caring.

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